Every Sign a Song Cue

By , October 24, 2018

Yesterday afternoon, Michelle and I hiked home, returning to our homestead after more than a month away. Now, with a nice fire warming the cold logs of the cabin, a proper breakfast and a real cup of home ground coffee under my belt, and my trusty computer at hand, The Zeiger Family Homestead Blog returns to life.

What an amazing trip. We were away 34 days, but it felt more like a year—in a good way!

west coast sunset

The sun sets off the Oregon coast, Neskowin, early in the trip (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

As noted in the last post, The Zeigers Head to Ireland!, we rendezvoused with beloved college friends for a long-overdue reunion, then flew to Ireland for three weeks. We came back to the states and visited family on both sides in Washington state, then took the two-day trip home (fly to Juneau, ferry home the next morning). Aly came with us, but she’s still in town with her boyfriend.

As for Ireland, I doubt I could ever find the words or the space to describe it to you. If I turned the whole blog over to this one subject, I could keep busy for a year or more. So, perhaps uncharacteristically, I’ll try to be brief . . . .

We could not, and did not see it all. We landed in Dublin, circled the island’s coast, roughly, staying in Counties Cork, Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Donegal, and Meath, and Northern Ireland, about 2-3 days each, returning to Dublin to fly home. We visited important sites, (mostly archaeological) museums, and pubs, mixing with locals when we could, listening to live music, and enjoying the food and drink.

Everyone asks what our favorite thing about the trip was. What an impossible question! For me, Brú na Bóinne (The Boyne Valley Tombs, including Newgrange, or Síd in Broga) definitely holds a high position, due to my interest in the site, but how does it compare to, for instance, a lunch stop in Ardara?

Zeigers at Newgrange

The Zeiger family at Síd in Broga (Newgrange) (Photo: Sasha Barnes).

There, we ate an excellent meal at Nancy’s, a pub that had been hosted by one family for 7 generations (so far). One of our party got a free Irish coffee because her name is Nancy (any Murphys in our group would also have received one). We went back to the woolen shop next door to thank the owner for his recommendation, and chatted for a while with him, learning what happened when he and one of the pub’s children found a World War I grenade in the attic and began playing catch with it (no one was hurt).

This is just one of many delightful examples. How do I rank such an interaction with the great neolithic sites of Ireland?

Meanwhile, each moment of the trip recalled some new association from a lifelong love of Ireland and its culture. Every signpost called to mind some beloved music title, until we joked about creating a play list based on the song cues that popped to mind—another full time project.

Sunday morning with sheep. The view from our air B&B house above Gleann Cholm Cille (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Through all this, we struggled with our blood connection to the place. While we may have some “pure” Irish blood, most of our “Irish” ancestors seem to be transplanted Scots, or, news to me, Swedes who were born in Ireland.

We took way too few photos. As yet, we haven’t shared them among ourselves, so these are some I took. Later, we may add more. I’ll no doubt tell much about the trip in the future. Stay tuned—we’re back!


2 Responses to “Every Sign a Song Cue”

  1. Linn Hartman says:

    Glad you had a great trip – Kept checking the Trilo Boat site for your return –

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Thanks, Linn, we’re back, and it’s back, too!

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